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Following the recent release of Inventing Anna on Netflix, fans of the show want to find out whether the storyline, which has been dubbed as “wilder than The Tinder Swindler”, is based on a true story.
The series, created by showrunner and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, who is the genius behind Bridgerton and Grey’s Anatomy, tells the story of a journalist investigating the case of Anna Delvey, aka “the Instagram-legendary German heiress who stole the hearts of New York’s social scene - and stole their money as well".
The synopsis continues: “But is Anna New York’s biggest con woman or is she simply the new portrait of the American dream? Anna and the reporter form a dark, funny love-hate bond as Anna awaits trial and our reporter fights the clock to answer the biggest question in NYC: who is Anna Delvey?”
The highly-rated series Inventing Anna is in fact based on the true story of Russian-born, German fraudster Anna Sorokin.
Shonda Rhimes based the series on a New York Magazine article about the criminal: How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People by Jessica Pressler.
“This whole story is completely true. Except for the parts that are completely made up,” Netflix explained about the show.
The streaming giant had a similar outlook on their hugely popular series Maid, which was also based on a true story, but ultimately utilised their creative license on the script.
Although Inventing Anna is based on Sorokin’s true story, the characters in the series and the events aren’t completely accurate.
For example, Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky), is rather a reimagining of the real journalist, Jessica Pressler, who revealed Sorokin’s fraudulent behaviour and wrote the exposé in the magazine which Rhimes read and based the series on.
The original journalist, Pressler, interviewed with Vulture about the actress playing her in the series: "The show is fictionalized, and the character is a guide to this universe. When I met Anna Chlumsky, she was like, 'I’m not doing you,' and I was like, 'Great!' Vivian is like an all-caps angry email of me, but there are things that are very real mixed into it."
The character of Kacy Duke (Laverne Cox) in the series, also exists in real life, and is a celebrity trainer who has worked with the likes of Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and Julianne Moore.
Chase Sikorski (Saamer Usmani) is a made-up character. In real life, Anna did have a boyfriend, but he was never identified in real life - not even in Pressler’s article.
The journalist did speculate, however, that he was a "futurist on the TED-Talks circuit who'd been profiled in The New Yorker”, but was never formally identified.
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